Beachcombing not enough? Here are a few activities and things to do in Sihanoukville.
Hit the beach
Sihanoukville is a beach town, and there’s no better way to spend your time there than on the beach. The most popular beaches, Ochheuteal and Serendipity, are not the best that Sihanoukville has to offer, unless what you’re looking for is litter, petty crime, and beggars. Otres Beach has become the go-to spot for backpackers, who appreciate the less-developed vibe. That’s changing fast, though, and Otres has new hotels and guesthouses going up every day. The best beaches in Sihanoukville are the least popular ones.
Private Sokha Beach is technically only for guests of the Sokha Resort. You can pay for a $10 day pass, which also gets you access to the resort’s pool. In practice, though, tourists who don’t look Cambodian or like total beach bums are rarely asked for proof.
Independence Beach is a lovely beach next to the Independence Hotel. Parts of it are sometimes closed to the public, but it’s usually empty and worth the visit. Another good place for sand and surf is Hawaii Beach, which is part of Victory Beach. Although Victory Hill has a sleazy reputation, Hawaii Beach is popular with Cambodian families and is a nice place to get some sun and relax for the afternoon.
If you fancy yourself as the next Tiger Woods, then Mollie Golf Mini Golf will suit you to a tee. Located in Victory Hill, the course features various creative obstacles as well as a miniature replica of Sihanoukville’s Golden Lions roundabout, as well as more traditional miniature golf fixtures, including a moving windmill. This family-friendly activity is fun for all ages. The cost is $3.50 per game for adults and $2.50 for kids. If you want to play another round, additional games cost $1 per person.
Mollie Golf Mini Golf
Open daily, 12 to 6 p.m. Other times by reservation if eight or more players. Closed if raining
Open during high season, November through April
Next to Wat Kraom Temple, Victory Hill, Sihanoukville
T: 061 66 55 43
If riding off into the sunset sounds appealing, head on down to Liberty Ranch in Otres Village. They offer beach and countryside horse riding tours and training for adults and children. Prices range from $10 for children’s pony rides and tours range from $25 for an hour to $85 for a half day trip.
Bookings only, contact for availability
Otres Village, Sihanoukville
T: 097 257 0187
Let out some aggression at Sihanoukville’s very own Red Paintball, located near Otres Village and featuring a 20 by 50 meter course with modern equipment. Prices start at $15 per person but keep an eye out around town and Facebook as they often run special promotions (bruises are free!)
The Red Paintball
Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Otres Village, Sihanoukville
T 086 603 176
See a movie
If you need a break from the sun, Top Cat and Galaxy Cinema offer a respite from the beach in the form of air-conditioned movie theaters that present public and private screenings of the movie of your choice.
At Top Cat Cinema, movies cost $4 per person for a two-hour session. They have 10 private air-conditioned lounges where you can watch any of their more than 6,000 movies. They also have a Playstation, if you’re missing the one you left at home.
Galaxy Cinema has movies showing at 5 p.m., 7 p.m., 9 p.m., and 11 p.m. in lounges that can seat up to six people for $2.50 per person. They also have a VIP room for two that is open 24 hours and offers a private shower. We have not investigated to see if that is as sketchy as it sounds, but it costs $3 per person.
Top Cat Cinema
14 Mithona Street, Ochheuteal Beach, Sihanoukville [map]
T: 016 525 660; 017 721 677
Take a cooking class
The Traditional Khmer Cookery School offers daily courses at 10 a.m. every day except Sunday, high season or low. The cost is $23 per person, and those who have attended report having a fun time. Classes are led by Sinoun, the chef from the popular local Khmer restaurant, Nyam.
Classes on Monday and Thursdays have a vegetarian option, and if you’re dying to learn how to make fish amok, you’re in luck, because it’s featured in Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday’s sessions. The classes are very heavy on “tourist-inspired Khmer cuisine,” but the Wednesday and Friday classes feature banana flower salad, beef lok lac and pumpkin custard–and are mercifully amok free. The class can also include a trip to the market, if this is requested it in advance. All bookings need to be made at least a day ahead of time.
Traditional Khmer Cookery School
Visit the reptilian zoo
Boasting Cambodia’s largest collection of snakes and crocodiles, Snake House makes for an interesting hour or two if you’re into reptile zoos. The entrance fee is $3 but is waived for guests of the Snake House restaurant, which serves mostly Russian fare. It’s worth having lunch there, where you can sit surrounded by aquariums full of unusual fish and within view of crocodiles eagerly awaiting their next feeding. The zoo also has a large collection of exotic lizards, birds, and even the odd mammal. Snake House, which also operates a popular guesthouse for Russian tourists, is Cambodia’s only source of anti-venom for rare poisonous snakes, so if you ever get bitten, these are the guys to call.
Escape rooms have become very popular across southeast Asia recently and the phenomenon has now reached Sihanoukville, with not one but two centers opening recently. The aim is to escape from a locked room by solving a range of logic puzzles and lateral thinking. If you make it out within the allotted time and you’re rewarded with a great sense of achievement but sometimes even free beer!
First to open in 2016 was Just Escape, located downtown not far from the Vietnamese Consulate, which currently features two rooms and is priced at $40 per room for up to four people (five by arrangement). They have discounts for students and birthday groups; check the website for offers. Free local pick-up available.
Mid-2016 saw the arrival of The Escape House, which currently has one game, The Voodoo Room. Their prices are per person rather than per room, and a game can have up to six participants. Escape in time and each person receives vouchers for four free beers and a shot at Utopia. Free pick ups from Utopia for groups of three or more. See website for prices as their opening promotion is still running.
Open daily 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Last session starts at 10 p.m.
121 Ekareach Street, Sihanoukville
T: 096 992 0320
The Escape House
Open daily 2 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Last session starts at 9:30 p.m.
Sereypheap Street, Opposite the Blind Beggar, Sihanoukville
T: 096 866 5919
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